Rajwinder Kaur (28), a head constable with the Punjab police who on Saturday made the country proud by bagging a bronze medal in judo in the women's 78+ kg category at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, tasted success after overcoming a lot of pains, literally.
The sportsperson suffered injuries in her right knee twice in the past four years during practice.
Rajwinder's husband Kuljinder Singh, also a head constable in the Punjab police, says she was in severe pain after her right knee got twisted at a practice camp in Bhopal right before the Commonwealth Games began.
In 2009, her right knee was hurt during practice for senior national judo championship in Hardiwar and the doctors advised her to undergo surgery.
"Rajwinder is very determined. Since she had promised of bagging a medal in the Commonwealth Games this time, she refused to undergo surgery as it could have hampered her practice.
When she was preparing for the bronze contest, she told me that there was pain in her knee," said Kuljinder who is also a national-level judo player.
In 2012, she gave birth to a baby. Born in Khadur Sahib of Tarn Taran district, Kaur suffered serious knee injury during a final bout at the Senior National Judo Championship in 2009 in Haridwar. She got the shock of her life when doctors said she would not be able to play if she did not undergo knee surgery.
She did matriculation from a government school in the village and came to Nehru Garden School, Company Bagh Chowk, in Jalandhar where she started playing judo in 2000.
In 2002, she participated in the National School Games in Madhya Pradesh but did not get any prize. She, however, won the first prize in state-level school games held in Gurdaspur.
Then she went to the National Institute of Sports in Patiala in 2003 and got training under Jiwan Sharma, a Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach. She also practiced at GNDU under Surinder Singh, judo chief coach.
She joined the Punjab police in 2009. After seeing her interest in the sport, a women's judo team was prepared by the Punjab police.
Kuljinder Singh said even as his wife has won several medals in the national and Asian-level games, this medal was special for them. Her two-year-old son Gurwansh is waiting of his mother.
Surinder Kumar (47), Rajwinder's first coach from whom she learnt the basics of the game, said, "Rajwinder struggled a lot for this. She has made us proud."
"When she returns, we will honour her at Government Senior Secondary School, Ladowali Road, where she started her judo practice in 2000," he added.